JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The No. 21 Auburn gymnastics team put together its best performance of the season, finishing sixth at the 2017 SEC Championship with a season-best score of 196.550 Saturday in the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
The team total was tied the program's third-best score in SEC Championship history. In addition, six Tigers earned All-SEC honors, marking the most conference honors for Auburn in a single season.
"Each event got better for us today and that is something we have been working on all year," head coach Jeff Graba said. "It was great to get the best score of the year on one of our best performances of the year. We have a broad spectrum of talent on this team and when everyone does their job, great things happen. We keep getting better and trying to keep our focus on that."
LSU took home the team title with a 198.075, while Florida finished second at 197.825. Alabama finished third (197.400) and Georgia edged out Kentucky for fourth overall (196.700). The Wildcats came in fifth at 196.625 with Missouri (195.825) and Arkansas (194.900) closing out the competition.
Auburn, competing in the afternoon session, opened the day on beam and put together a solid 49.050 to get things started. Redshirt freshman Emma Slappey set a career-best score in the event, leading the Tigers with a 9.875. Sophomore Taylor Krippner anchored AU with a 9.85, while senior Kullen Hlawek led things off with a solid score of 9.8. Freshman Katie Becker added a 9.775 and sophomore Emma Engler chipped in a 9.75.
The Tigers moved on to floor for rotation two and added a 49.125 to their score. Senior MJ Rott earned All-SEC honors as she led all afternoon session competitors with a 9.875. Hlawek and Slappey also picked up All-SEC nods as the pair scored a pair of 9.85s. Freshman Gracie Day finished her energetic routine with a 9.825, while senior Lucia Scaglione was given a 9.725.
The squad tied a season-best on vault, coming away with a 49.150. A trio of Tigers in Rott, Day, and sophomore A'Miracal Phillips led the squad with 9.85 apiece. That score tied a career best for both Phillips and Day. Krippner and Engler added a pair of 9.8s and that score tied Engler's season high.
Auburn ended the day on bars, putting up one of its best scores of the season with a 49.225. Engler and sophomore Samantha Cerio picked up All-SEC honors as the duo each tied career bests with 9.9s. Day followed with a 9.875, while Krippner secured a solid score of 9.8. Redshirt senior Kelsey Kopec added a 9.75 for the Tigers.
The postseason continues as the Tigers await their NCAA Regional fate. The 2017 Selection Show is set for Monday, March 20, and will be streamed at 3 p.m. CT on NCAA.com.
|Katie Becker||9.775||Katie Becker||9.100|
|Emma Engler||9.800||Kelsey Kopec||9.750|
|A'Miracal Phillips||9.850||Taylor Krippner||9.800|
|Taylor Krippner||9.800||Samantha Cerio||9.900|
|MJ Rott||9.850||Gracie Day||9.875|
|Gracie Day||9.850||Emma Engler||9.900|
|Kullen Hlawek||9.800||Katie Becker||9.650|
|Samantha Cerio||9.250||Gracie Day||9.825|
|Katie Becker||9.775||Lucia Scaglione||9.725|
|Emma Engler||9.750||Emma Slappey||9.850|
|Emma Slappey||9.875||Kullen Hlawek||9.850|
|Taylor Krippner||9.850||MJ Rott||9.875|